Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Awkward Silence, my ex-husband, and online dating

“Life is weird.” That’s a phrase I find myself saying several times a day. And today is no different.

Here I am stuck in this dark hospital recovery room watching my sweet little girl sleep. She is recovering well from her foot surgery which is such a blessing. Before we flew out to Texas, I had two major concerns—Veronica’s recovery and having to be around my ex-husband.

It’s no secret that we split on less than amicable terms. To say we hated each other’s guts would be putting things nicely. So, now I am faced with the fact that he showed up for his daughter’s surgery and wants to be here for her.

It’s his right to do so and I didn’t plan to stop him from doing that. So, after Veronica’s surgery was over, I was paged to come down and speak to the surgeon.

My ex was sitting by himself in the recovery room. My parents and I had not made any effort to include him in our conversation and I didn’t feel guilty about that.

As I gathered up my belongings, I looked over at him and said, “Well, are you coming or what?” He looked surprised and followed quietly behind me. We spoke to the doctor and found out that the surgery went great. We were asked to sit and wait for Veronica to wake up before we were allowed into the recovery area.

Sitting together alone in the hallway was awkward. I hate that weird silence, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything nice to say to him. Then I said it, “How’s everything going?”

“Pretty good,” he said. Then he proceeded to tell me about his brothers (whom I used to be extremely close with but haven’t spoken to since our split). The conversation began to get a little more casual and we even managed to laugh a little and make eye contact a few times.

Then it got quiet again. With a deep breath he asks, “Are you seeing anybody?”
I nodded and said, “Yes, I am.”
“Is it serious?” he asks.
“Yes it is,” I say with a little smile.
“Has he been around the kids?”
“No, not yet,” I answer. “But it’s definitely moving in that direction and I need you to be okay with that.”
He looked up at the ceiling and took a deep breath. I noticed I was holding my breath.
He looked over at me and smiled. “Of course I’m okay with that. I’m actually very happy for you and I am really proud of you for moving on with your life in such a graceful way.”

I was a little shocked, and I hated to ruin the moment but I had to ask one more question. “Are you sure you’re okay? Because the last time we had this conversation you said you would kill anyone that I brought around the kids and I know that you meant that.”

He nodded slowly and sighed. “That was the old me,” he said. “I’m not like that anymore. I’m too tired to be mean to you anymore.”

Relief settled over me and I smiled at him—a real smile, not the fake ones I usually flashed him when he came to the house to pick up the kids.

“So where did you meet?” he asked.

“Online,” I said with a laugh.

And then we sat and talked for about 30 minutes about our adventures with online dating. It was one of the best conversations we have ever had.

What can I say? Life is weird.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how sometimes grace walks in wearing slippers.